[Puzzleblogger Kevan Choset, April 27, 2006 at 4:05pm] Trackbacks
DaVinci Decision Code:

Thanks to reader Andy Treese for the heads up on this article in the Times about a code embedded in the London judge's decision in the DaVinci Code matter.

The decision itself is here.

I'm surprised no one has cracked this yet. I've tried just about all the ciphers I can find on Google -- Vigenère, Caesar, Playfair, etc. -- but with no luck. Then again, I have absolutely no experience with codebreaking.
4.27.2006 6:02pm
Dylanfa (mail) (www):
I suspect the cipher is pretty simple, but with only 30 characters normal pattern analysis may not be very helpful. But I'm sure someone will get it pretty quickly.
4.27.2006 6:11pm
Eh Nonymous (mail) (www):
And Patterico is spearheading the most popular (if not the most successful) "organized" attempt to produce an answer.
4.27.2006 6:18pm
Just John:
I thought I had it for a second, but my codebreaking method just gave me this jumble of letters:


Huh... I wonder what I'm doing wrong?
4.27.2006 6:45pm
David Matthews (mail):
"with only 30 characters normal pattern analysis may not be very helpful."

Very true.

Paging Charlie Eppes!
4.27.2006 6:46pm
the answer is:

"British law is a joke."
4.27.2006 6:48pm
Andy Treese:
Huh. Run the vowels through a Davis modulation, send the consonants through a Vaughn Matrix Transformation, and then apply Lewis pattern analysis #5 and you get:

"Who are three Templars who have never been in my kitchen?"
4.27.2006 7:02pm
I haven't done any heavy thinking on this, but my guess is that it decodes thus: This judge has too much time on his hands.
4.27.2006 7:18pm
Two Thumbs Up!:
This reminds me of the Kozinski movie theater antitrust case where he reportedly inserted 200+ movie titles into the opinion. See United States v. Syufy Enterprises, 903 F.2d 659 (9th Cir. 1990) and The Syufy Rosetta Stone, 1992 B.Y.U. L. Rev. 457
4.27.2006 7:52pm
bruce oberg:
the smithy code has been solved. it's unclear who did the solving.
4.27.2006 10:34pm
Patterico (mail) (www):
And the answer is pathetic.

1) The message to be decoded is boring. It has personal relevance to the judge but almost none to the public at large.

2) There are at least two typos.

3) The use of the code itself is bollixed up, with the third letter inexplicably not following the pattern of the rest.

All in all, a lame effort, and a waste of time.
4.28.2006 3:17am
Matt Barr (mail) (www):
A blogosphere-wide code placement effort would be a lot of fun, either to be part of or to try and solve. The winner could get a copy of Prof. Reynolds' book, or Mike Hiltzik's Pulitzer Prize, or something.
4.28.2006 11:50am
David Matthews (mail):
Patterico said:

"All in all, a lame effort, and a waste of time."

That is indeed sad. Here you get an apparently playful judge, who turns out to be, well, lame....
4.28.2006 12:54pm
If it were here, no doubt it would be grounds for an appeal.
5.1.2006 1:22pm